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Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support

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Listed:
  • Harry J. Holzer

    (Georgetown University)

  • Paul Offner

    (Urban Institute)

  • Elaine Sorensen

    (Urban Institute)

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the continuing decline in employment and labor force participation of nonenrolled Black men between the ages of 16 and 34 who have a high school education or less in the 1980s and 1990s. We focus on two fairly new developments: (1) the dramatic growth in the number of young Black men who have been incarcerated and (2) strengthened enforcement of child support policies. We analyze micro-level data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups (CPS-ORG), into which state-level data over time on incarceration rates and child support enforcement have been merged. Our results indicate that previous incarceration and child support enforcement can account for half or more of the decline in employment activity among Black men aged 25-34. Previous incarceration also contributes to the decline among those aged 16-24. © 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Suggested Citation

  • Harry J. Holzer & Paul Offner & Elaine Sorensen, 2005. "Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 329-350.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:329-350
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20092
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. R. M. Hauser & M. H. Huang, "undated". "Trends in Black-White Test-Score Differentials," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1110-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1.
    4. Charles L. Schultze, 2003. "The Consumer Price Index: Conceptual Issues and Practical Suggestions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Demographic Determinants of the Demand for Black Labor," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 191-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-351.
    7. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    9. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Black Youth Nonemployment: Duration and Job Search," NBER Chapters,in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 23-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Chien-Chung & Han, Ke-Qing, 2012. "Child support enforcement in the United States: Has policy made a difference?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 622-627.
    2. Elaine Sorensen, 2010. "Rethinking public policy toward low-income fathers in the child support program," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 604-610.
    3. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0084-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robert D. Plotnick & Irwin Garfinkel & Sara S. McLanahan & Inhoe Ku, 2007. "The impact of child support enforcement policy on nonmarital childbearing," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 79-98.
    5. Lawrence M. Mead, 2010. "Why we need work programs for fathers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 610-616.
    6. Derek Neal & Armin Rick, 2014. "The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith and Welch," NBER Working Papers 20283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Colen, Cynthia G. & Geronimus, Arline T. & Phipps, Maureen G., 2006. "Getting a piece of the pie? The economic boom of the 1990s and declining teen birth rates in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1531-1545, September.
    8. Karen Guzzo & Frank Furstenberg, 2007. "Multipartnered fertility among American men," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(3), pages 583-601, August.
    9. Beck, Audrey N. & Finch, Brian K. & Lin, Shih-Fan & Hummer, Robert A. & Masters, Ryan K., 2014. "Racial disparities in self-rated health: Trends, explanatory factors, and the changing role of socio-demographics," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 163-177.
    10. Barry T. Hirsch & John V. Winters, 2014. "An Anatomy Of Racial and Ethnic Trends in Male Earnings in the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 930-947, December.
    11. Maria Cancian & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Yiyoon Chung, 2013. "Discouraging Disadvantaged Fathers’ Employment: An Unintended Consequence of Policies Designed to Support Families," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 758-784, September.
    12. Tomaz Cajner & Tyler Radler & David Ratner & Ivan Vidangos, 2017. "Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-071, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Lincoln H. Groves, 2016. "Welfare Reform and Labor Force Exit by Young, Low-Skilled Single Males," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 393-418, April.
    14. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "Parental Responses to Child Support Obligations: Evidence from Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 22227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Edelman, Peter B. & Holzer, Harry J., 2013. "Connecting the Disconnected: Improving Education and Employment Outcomes Among Disadvantaged Youth," IZA Policy Papers 56, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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